The trial of controversial Nigerian pastor, Timothy Omotoso, has been postponed to the 16th of April. This after Judge Mandela Makaula recused himself from presiding over the trial, saying it’s in the interest of justice for him to do so.
This follows two failed attempts by Omotoso’s legal team to have Judge Makaula recuse himself on the grounds that he was biased towards the first witness, Cheryl Zondi.
Omotoso is on trial with two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, for a range of crimes, including rape and human trafficking.
It was previously reported that Makaula had a financial interest in the guest house used to accommodate some of the state witnesses.
Judge Makaula gave his reasons for the recusal: “I am not involved in any company or legal entity, either as a director or shareholder. It is indeed so that my wife operates business ventures, including a guest house in which she holds shares through a registered closed corporation. I have no financial interest and play no role in its affairs. Despite that fact, there is no application for me to recuse myself based on this fact and independently of the opinion of the parties and legal representatives, I am of the view that the appropriate thing to do is for me to recuse myself, which I do.”
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